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This Version Posted: March 28, 2020

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is continuing to support its communities of Haliburton County, City of Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland County through the COVID-19 response.

The Health Unit enacted its Incident Operations Centre (IOC) in January and has been working since then to move staff to the areas most needed to either provide essential inspection services, conduct case and contact follow-up with people, or respond to questions about testing. Health Unit staff have also been working with health system partners and providers regarding infection prevention and control practices, assessment centres, testing and pandemic preparedness. As well, inspectors are now working with local businesses and restaurants to ensure compliance with new orders released by the Premier.

Please note the following changes to Health Unit business:

  • A media release will be issued only for the first confirmed COVID-19 case in each county. Updates on the number of confirmed cases and county of residence of new cases can be found on the Health Unit website at hkpr.on.ca. The site will be updated regularly with new information.
  • Effective Monday, March 23, all HKPR District Health Unit offices will be closed to the public except for lab pick up and delivery, needle exchanges and Naloxone.
  • Water bottle drop off will still be available at the Health Unit offices and most of the current community locations, but paperwork will not be checked by Health Unit staff.  New water bottles will be located outside of the Health Unit doors. Please visit hkpr.on.ca for updates on community drop off locations.
  • All Health Unit classes, clinics or meetings have been cancelled whether these were to be held in the Health Unit office or in a community meeting space or school.
  • All Health Unit programming, except the COVID-19 response, and essential services, has been cancelled.
  • Healthy Babies Healthy Children family visits will be conducted by telephone or virtual meetings.
  • Public Health Inspectors are working with long-term care homes and retirement homes to ensure active screening, infection prevention and control practices, and pandemic preparedness measures are in place.  Inspectors are also monitoring local businesses to ensure compliance with closure orders from the province with the declaration of the State of Emergency.
  • Staff are continuing to respond to the hundreds of calls received each day through the Health Unit’s call centre. Residents are asked to be patient and their call will be returned. Please do not leave multiple phone messages as this detracts from the time needed to respond to calls. If people have questions, they can also send an email to info@hkpr.on.ca.
  • Anyone who thinks they have COVID-19 symptoms or has been in close contact with someone who has it is asked to visit ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus to use a self-assessment tool to help determine if they need to seek further care.

The Health Unit encourages everyone to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 including:

  • Staying home if they are sick
  • Washing their hands thoroughly and frequently
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue
  • Refraining from visiting anyone at a hospital, retirement or long-term care home
  • Practising physical distancing
  • Remaining in self-isolation if they have returned from travel outside of Canada
  • Complying with the provincial order related to the Declaration of Emergency.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Chandra Tremblay, Manager, Corporate Services; Communications and IT, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1212.